Tag Archives: nfl

The Bengals could move on from Andy Dalton, but should they?


Andy Dalton

After an underwhelming year from Andy Dalton, a lot of fans in Bengaldom are ready to look for a new franchise leader. The Bengals missed the playoffs for a second year, and he has yet to win a playoff game in his seven years as starter, and the Bengals have A.J. McCarron in the wings, since his trade to the Browns fell through. Fun fact, the Bengals have NEVER completed a trade with the Browns, a streak that continues due to the Browns’ email SNAFU.

Here’s the thing, the Bengals got a great deal on Dalton. They have him through 2020, at an average of about $16 million per year. That’s actually a huge value on a starting quarterback, even one who has not one a playoff game. The salary cap is expected to rise the next few years, and quarterback salaries are expected to skyrocket. Think, Stafford set a new bar last year at an average of $27 million, topping Derek Carr at $25 million per year. Cousins is likely to get paid more than that on the open market. Alex Smith just got a raise to about $23 million per year. As an added benefit of Dalton’s deal, the Bengals have the option of cutting him whenever they want without a huge cap hit, since most of the guaranteed money has already been paid out.

And here’s the other thing, who would you rather have than Andy Dalton that’s going to be available. Kirk Cousins is less accomplished than Dalton– he hasn’t won a playoff game either, and he’s about to get paid twice what Dalton is. McCarron is intriguing, but unproven, and is in line to get paid as well. Blake Bortles might get cut, but only if the Jaguars think he’s not worth the $19 million he’ll make if they keep him. They could draft somebody, but making the transition to the pros is really a crapshoot: even many of the successes don’t exceed Dalton’s accomplishments. All three Vikings quarterbacks are slated to become free agents, but all of them are unproven. There’s nobody likely available that will perform as well as Dalton next year, and certainly nobody else for the bargain prices the Bengals are paying.

Andy Dalton isn’t the kind of elite quarterback that is going to elevate a team or carry, like a Brady or a Brees. There are not many of those guys around. Dalton is a quarterback who can lead a team and win in the right circumstance. Like an Eli Manning, he can succeed with the right tools around him: in particular, he needs protection. Dalton’s performance dropped off this year, but that’s likely directly due to losing two of his offensive line anchors in Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. Couple that with losing Rex Burkhead, and dealing with other tailback injuries, and the situation at Offensive Coordinator, and it’s no surprise the Bengals offense struggled this year.

Andy Dalton is the Bengals’ best option at quarterback this year. He’s not the best in the game, but he may be the best contract value in the game. If the Bengals can shore up the offensive line, and give the team coaching stability next year, there’s no reason Dalton can’t take the team to the next level. The gut reaction to make a change is natural, but right now Dalton still makes the most sense.


The Winter Blues…

So, feeling my age this week after:

Report: Steve Francis Not Using Drugs, Just Old” … He’s 38

and Peyton Manning’s ongoing fight to stave off retirement, at the grand old age of 39…

“Broncos QB Peyton Manning will practice today, for the first time since being removed from a disastrous game against the Chiefs and put up on the shelf to let his various bruises and tears heal. He is not expected to play this weekend—Brock Osweiler is still the starter, but probably not for long.

Gary Kubiak made the announcement yesterday, and it’s a reflection more of Manning’s medical progress than of any hints toward the team’s plans. Manning’s body really started to break down this year, but it was a partially torn foot ligament that finally forced him out—amid a career-worst start to his season—and put him in a hard cast and then a walking boot for few weeks….”

Then I hear that the Reds have traded Todd Frazier, which may be the smart thing to do, but he’s so cool, and it just makes me sad that we can’t hang on to more than 2 players for more than an arbitration year. That’s baseball… we can’t have nice things, and that makes me sad, too… on top of losing Chapman last week. And Andy Dalton’s injury. And global warming, and Trump, and so on. At least Trump is entertaining.

Star Wars better not suck… I don’t think I can handle the disappointment! That said… I can’t wait. This will cheer the darkest of hearts…


Andy Dalton’s Contract Already Looking Better

A lot of people criticized the Bengals for giving such a big extension to Andy Dalton, in spite of not winning a playoff game in three tries. I was never down on the deal: it really is a fair market deal for a quality starter who has taken his team to the playoffs for three straight years. More importantly, his early success belies his inexperience: it is really exceptional to take a team to the playoffs your first three years. I also hope his game will continue to improve,l and this contract give the Bengals a chance to bet on that improvement and fair market price.

With Ryan Tannehill’s contract extension this week, the deal looks like an even better value for the Bengals. While the contracts differ greatly, the Bengals get a guy with a much greater track record at a comparable price. The Dolphins are high on Tannehill, and have reason to expect that the contract will pay off, but his deal is probably a greater commitment than the Bengals gave Dalton, and Tannehill hasn’t had a winning season to justify it. Tannehill’s rising numbers show progress, but Dalton’s early success should not be grounds for punishment. Give me a guy with a trip to the playoffs every year: he will eventually get over the hump and win some playoff games. This will be a good deal for the Dolphins if Tannehill continues his progress, and an even better deal for the Bengals if Dalton does the same.

The Really Ridiculous Thing About the NFL’s Repeated Mishandling of Disciplinary Measures

The NFL gave Tom Brady a 4-game suspension for his knowledge of Ball Deflation, and for his failure to cooperate with the investigation. Brady, through the NFLPA, as filed for an appeal of the decision. Today, Commissioner Goodell announced he will hear the appeal himself, as authorized by the CBA. The first issue of the appeal is that Goodell mishandled the sanctions in the first place, by handing off authority to Troy Vincent, which the NFLPA alleges is not authorized by the CBA. For that, and other reasons, they intend to call Goodell as a witness: which he KNEW when he decided to hear the appeal himself, because it was explicitly laid out in the notice of appeal. Frankly, for him to keep the appeal, when he is clearly an interested party, is blatantly preposterous.

What’s really sad about this, is how consistently Goodell and the NFL have ignored the basic tenets of Due Process. Goodell’s theme after taking office was to protect the “shield” of the NFL, and nobody has done more to damage that shield than his continuous mishandling of disciplinary issues. Clearly, they need to get someone on board who understands legal process, because Goodell just doesn’t get it.

That’s why a Federal Court threw out the unprecedented suspension of Adrian Peterson: the court found that NFL arbitrator “simply disregarded the law of the shop”. And the Ray Rice situation was handled even worse. That didn’t even get to court, the arbitrator ruled that the league abused their discretion when they issued a second punishment on the same offense. She further found NFL’s action to be arbitrary, chiding that “the Commissioner needed to be fair and consistent in his imposition of discipline.” Ultimately, her decision indicates that the NFL was trying to mislead all of us when they claimed that Mr. Rice was dishonest to them about what happened. He told the truth, and arbitrarily punished, and Goodell lied about it. Rice probably has a defamation suit against Goodell and the NFL. The Bountygate scandal just a few years ago was beset by similar problems.

The way the NFL has repeatedly issued arbitrary and capricious disciplinary action is pitiful. That once again, they have done so, while the Commissioner is inserting himself in the process at precisely the wrong time, is ridiculous. I don’t know if the NFL owners, who are ultimately Goodell’s bosses, are doing anything to straighten him out. But they should, because he just doesn’t get it.

Step one, get a lawyer to oversee and/or set up a new disciplinary system with a semblance of consistency. Or just replace the current hierarchy. The really ridiculous thing is that they keep making the same basic mistakes over and over again.